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# Just Ask Scobe and AP

23 September 2002

I am having trouble with Let It Ride. I just can't seem to get a good run going. I'll win one and then I'll lose a bunch before I win another. Rarely do I hit for big hands, yet people I play with will, at times, do quite well. Am I doing something wrong? I seem to go through a lot of money in my sessions. My strategy is to bet any high cards 10 or better, any pairs, and any hands that might win such as straights, flushes, and straight flushes. Sometimes I bet my instincts as well. This seems to be the best strategy. Do you guys agree?

G. F.

Dear G.F.:

Sit down, G.F., we have some bad news for you. The strategy that you are employing is designed to help whatever casino you are playing in open branches all over the country. It could be the worst possible strategy, although there might be ones that are even worse than yours. Didn't you learn in school that most human "instincts" have atrophied from disuse? Forget instinct and forget that horrible strategy of yours.

Even with proper strategy for Let It Ride the casino will have around a three percent edge on the player. The flow of the game will be very much as you describe it, although the economic impact will not be quite so devastating as the one you're experiencing. That flow will be mathematically as follows: you will win approximately 25 percent of the time, lose approximately 75 percent of the time. Thus, streaks will tend to be negative in nature. It is rare that you go three, four or five rounds with wins. Yet, negative streaks will only tend to affect the bet labeled "\$" -- not bets "1" and "2" -- if you use this simplified basic strategy for Let It Ride:

1. Let your first bet ride if you have a pair of tens or better (do not bet small pairs!).
2. Let your first bet ride if you have the makings of a royal flush.
3. Let your bet ride if you have a straight flush that is open on both ends (you wouldn't bet ace-1-2, for example)
4. Do not make the jackpot side bet.
5. If you improve your hands on the next draw, let your second bet ride as well.

If you use this simplified strategy, you will notice two things right away. You will lose a heck of a lot less money and when you do win, you'll win more! Best of luck!

For more information, we recommend:

Bold Card Play by Frank Scoblete
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Alene Paone
Alene Paone is the publisher of Paone Press which specializes in gaming books, videos and audio cassettes. For a free brochure call: 1-800-944-0406.